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If we are fortunate enough to live a long life, we will all someday be considered elderly. Unfortunately, not everyone stays healthy as their ‘golden years’ progress. Independence is not always possible when lack of mobility, mental health issues and serious chronic conditions make supervision and sometimes a nursing staff necessary.
The ideal situation is for a family member to step in and take care of their elderly relative, in an environment they are used to. This could be their own home, drawing on the assistance of home health nurses, if necessary. However, in a lot of cases, that isn’t possible, leaving many families to face the difficult task of finding a nursing home for their loved ones.
The staff in most nursing homes are there because they want to make the quality of life the best it can be for the seniors in their care. They treat their patients the way they would a member of their own family, with respect and a nurturing attitude. This is not always the case, unfortunately.
Leaving a precious family member in a nursing home is excruciatingly hard, even under the best circumstances. The feelings of guilt are often overwhelming, leading to sleepless nights filled with worry. Sadly, sometimes the worry is warranted. There are some nursing home staff members, one third of them according to statistics, who are abusive or negligent toward some of the most vulnerable, helpless souls in the world. In some cases, patients are verbally abused, there are times when food, water and medicine are not being dispensed, help with hygiene is sometimes neglected and blatant physical abuse also occurs way too often.
Complicating things in trying to discern whether a loved one is being subjected to mistreatment or neglect is the fact that oftentimes, communication is hard or even nonexistent for many seniors. They may not be able to verbalize what is happening to them, making it almost impossible to prove any misconduct is happening. Help is available in the form of legal counsel, fighting with you to uncover the truth and bring to justice anyone who would harm the very people who most deserve love and respect.